French workers riot in the streets over tax hikes, economic inequality and perceptions that the country’s rulers are out of touch.

FILE - In this Saturday, May 5, 2018 file picture a protester carries a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron depicted as King Louis XVI during a protest in Paris. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FILE – In this Saturday, May 5, 2018 file picture a protester carries a picture of French President Emmanuel Macron depicted as King Louis XVI during a protest in Paris. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator waves the French flag on a burning barricade on the Champs-Elysees avenue with the Arc de Triomphe in background, during a demonstration against the rise of fuel taxes. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)
FILE – In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator waves the French flag on a burning barricade on the Champs-Elysees avenue with the Arc de Triomphe in background, during a demonstration against the rise of fuel taxes. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Michel Euler, File)

That was, of course, 1789 — when King Louis XVI helped the rich get tax exemptions and paid for it with his head.

FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator throws debris at a burning barricade while protesting with others against the rising of the fuel taxes on the famed Champs Elysees avenue, in Paris. Protest is such a recurrent part of French history simply because it has often succeeded. Paris' very design was intended to thwart mass protest after the 19th century revolutions that toppled kings. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu, File)
FILE – In this Nov. 24, 2018 file photo, a demonstrator throws debris at a burning barricade while protesting with others against the rising of the fuel taxes on the famed Champs Elysees avenue, in Paris. Protest is such a recurrent part of French history simply because it has often succeeded. Paris’ very design was intended to thwart mass protest after the 19th century revolutions that toppled kings. (AP Photo/Kamil Zihnioglu, File)
FILE - Anti-riot police charge through the streets of Paris during violent student demonstrations on May. 6, 1968. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/File)
FILE – Anti-riot police charge through the streets of Paris during violent student demonstrations on May. 6, 1968. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/File)

Today, some might see parallels for unpopular President Emmanuel Macron. Democracy has replaced monarchy in France, but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed.

FILE - In this Oct. 21, 2010 file photo, a student encourages others during a demonstration in Paris. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
FILE – In this Oct. 21, 2010 file photo, a student encourages others during a demonstration in Paris. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
FILE - In this Saturday March 18, 2006 file photo, students and workers march in Paris, France, during a demonstration against the
FILE – In this Saturday March 18, 2006 file photo, students and workers march in Paris, France, during a demonstration against the “First Job Contract”, a jobs plan known as CPE. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2010 file photo, a woman watches a demonstration against plans to raise the retirement age in Paris. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, file)
FILE – In this Sept. 7, 2010 file photo, a woman watches a demonstration against plans to raise the retirement age in Paris. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, file)

On Wednesday, Macron abandoned the fuel tax hike with his image as an unshakeable leader severely dented.

FILE - In this April 10, 2018 file photo, students demonstrate past a board tagged in reference to May 1968, in Paris. Fifty years ago, students in the Sorbonne University erected barricades to challenge the status quo. The violence that authorities used in 1968 to suppress the protesters brought French workers onto the streets, and the swelling protest that numbered 9 million people brought France to its knees. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FILE – In this April 10, 2018 file photo, students demonstrate past a board tagged in reference to May 1968, in Paris. Fifty years ago, students in the Sorbonne University erected barricades to challenge the status quo. The violence that authorities used in 1968 to suppress the protesters brought French workers onto the streets, and the swelling protest that numbered 9 million people brought France to its knees. (AP Photo/Francois Mori, File)
FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2018 file photo, demonstrators throw items near a burning barricade near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
FILE – In this Dec. 1, 2018 file photo, demonstrators throw items near a burning barricade near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration. There are parallels for unpopular French President Emmanuel Macron in the demise of King Louis XVI more than two centuries ago. Democracy has replaced monarchy but the culture of a mob taking its anger against perceived inequality onto the streets of Paris has not changed. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

“If people compare Macron to Louis XVI it’s a warning that he has hasn’t learned the lesson of history. They don’t literally want his head, but it’s a strong message that they don’t feel listened to,” says sociologist Michel Wieviorka.

Source: The Associated Press

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